Droneshot Radboud Universiteit campus
Droneshot Radboud Universiteit campus

Review of meetings about the Prevent - Care - Cure Project Plan

Between February and early May, a series of meetings took place at Radboud University in which students and staff were invited to provide input on the Prevent - Care - Cure Project Plan. This review lists the main outcomes that will be integrated in the further development of the project plan.

Ten meetings were organised in February and March. One at each faculty, plus three meetings for Radboud Services/Administration Office, the Radboud Teachers Academy, and Donders Institute. The Executive Board, the Deans, and the Director of Radboud Services attended all the meetings. This was followed in April and May by five in-depth dialogue sessions which staff and students could sign up for to offer input for the project plan without the presence of Executive Board members, Deans, or the Director of Radboud Services.

Meetings and in-depth dialogue sessions

In total, more than 900 people attended the 10 meetings. In these meetings, participants were asked, among other things, what Radboud University needs to focus on first when it comes to social safety. A total of 25 people took part in the five in-depth dialogue sessions organised by Radboud Reflects. They were asked the same question. Despite the wide variety of questions, comments and opinions, a number of themes on social safety were mentioned repeatedly. Here are the main topics that came up:

  • Hierarchy and dependency in the working relationship are risk factors when it comes to social safety; this should be addressed university-wide.
  • Many staff members and students reported experiencing a hierarchical and closed culture.
  • Note also that relatively small incidents can have a big impact. It is important to make sure that everyone feels free to speak up about past and present situations.
  • Communicate about reports and how they are handled as openly and quickly as possible.
  • Invest in strengthening the communication skills of the university as a whole.
  • Harness the positive energy of wanting to contribute to improving social safety.
  • Take leadership seriously as a profession. Ensure supervisors have the right skills needed for this job.
  • Supervisors, academic staff members, and administrators should be expected to set an example. They should also be expected to propagate the values of the university and integrate them into daily practice.
  • Strengthen moral leadership and integrity in leadership programmes.
  • Train supervisors in the field of social safety. Make this training mandatory for supervisors.
  • Make the route for complaints and reports clearer. Ensure faster handling of complaints and reports. Establish a visible and accessible help structure for social safety at central level.
  • Develop guidelines for situations that have been problematic for a while, for example by picking up on informal signals earlier, intervening faster, and registering reports and complaints at central level.
  • Offer adequate aftercare. Include in the elaboration the need to check with reporter, defendant, and any bystanders about how the complaint is handled, and offer support if desired.
  • Learn from experience, evaluate completed processes, learn from them for new caseloads, and adjust the communication strategy accordingly.
  • Make the distinction between support and management staff (OBP) and academic staff (WP) less sharp than it is at present, and reduce the strong formal and informal hierarchy.
  • Take action, and don't get stuck in planning. Show where we want to go with Radboud University. Show through action that the Executive Board cares about social safety and wants change.

Follow-up

The outcomes of all meetings and in-depth dialogue sessions will be used to further articulate the Prevent - Care - Cure Project Plan. In July, the Executive Board will discuss the project plan at the University Joint Assembly (UGV). The Executive Board will share any new developments via, for example, the weekly staff update, the student newsletter, and articles on the website.

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